The last human rights taboo?

Originally posted on July 2, 2013

The Guardian published an article titled Male rape: the last human rights taboo. Rich McEachran questions why NGOs pay so little attention to sexual violence against men and boys despite growing concern for the problem:

There is a disconcerting disparity between how various aid organisations and NGOs are dealing, or are failing to deal, with the issue. On a macro-level, organisations may not be aware of what they’re looking for and may not see how male rape fits into the bigger picture. It may come as a surprise that the UN only changed its own definition of rape to cover male victims, in 2011; this followed the publication of an article in The Observer.

NGOs at a micro-level, some of whom are already working with male survivors – the Refugee Law Project for instance – face major obstacles, such as acquiring funding and carrying out field work or accessing survivors in remote areas. The author of the aforementioned article spoke to Chris Dolan, the director of RLP, who claimed that one of the project’s donors refused to provide future funding if 70% of the client base wasn’t female.

Despite the fear of losing funding, the pervasiveness of the problem (academic Lara Stemple writes that male sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war from Chile to Iran, Kuwait to Uganda) means that the humanitarian community needs to challenge perceptions of rape, improve understanding and create awareness.

Yet that may be difficult to do given the gendered focus on sexual violence. As McEachran notes in the article, many NGOs use gendered language to refer to victims of sexual violence. Even in instances in which NGOs acknowledge the existence of abused men and boys, little of their literature mentions those experiences. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v231

Alleged victim tells court of abuse by five different paedophiles in youth — An elderly Dublin man has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing a boy and paying him money in a flat over thirty years ago. The alleged victim told a jury today that he was abused by five different paedophiles during his youth, including the accused. The accused man (73) has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to indecently assaulting the male, who was aged between 11 and 13 years old, on dates from October 1983 to June 1985.

Boy Found in Basement Alleges Long-Term Abuse by Parents — When a 12-year-old Detroit boy went missing on June 14 and was found 11 days later, it should have been a day to rejoice. Instead, his discovery in the family’s basement has turned into weeks of unanswered questions, with some unsettling information about what the child’s life may have been like.

Defence taskforce finds appalling abuse — TEENAGE recruit Graham’s life was ruined on the night he was raped twice at a West Australian naval training base and he’s lived with the trauma ever since. THE appalling abuse of Graham and other junior sailors as young as 15 was all too common at HMAS Leeuwin, the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) says. Their stories could now be referred to the ongoing royal commission into child sex abuse, with many parallels to the effects of abuse by pedophile priests and others emerging from the hearings. Continue reading

A good talk about male survivor resources

Allan emailed me a video of Rick Goodwin’s talk about male victims of sexual abuse and building the Men’s Project. It is worth viewing. It gives an insight into the things abused men and their advocates face when trying to create services for them.

Stop child porn by creating child porn?

This is an excellent example of what happens when you create a law of convenience. The mother of a 15-year-old girl filed a complaint against her daughter’s 17-year-old boyfriend after she found a video of an erect penis on the girl’s phone. This prompted the state to arrest the boy, but because of a mistake the boy was released. The state re-arrested him, and then decided that they proof it was him on the video. So:

The case was set for trial on July 1, where Foster said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Claiborne Richardson told her that her client must either plead guilty or police would obtain another search warrant “for pictures of his erect penis,” for comparison to the evidence from the teen’s cell phone. Foster asked how that would be accomplished and was told that “we just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need.”

That violates a host of laws, most notably the child pornography statute the state charged the boy under. No one is allowed to take incident photos of children. Yet the state apparently already violated this. According to the boy’s lawyer, when the police re-arrested the boy they took photos of his genitals without his consent. That would count as sexual battery, depending on how they obtained the photos. Continue reading

Matt Sandusky speaks out about his abuse

According to the Huffington Post, Matt Sandusky will speak with Oprah Winfrey about his abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky. The interview is set to air on July 17 on the Oprah Winfrey Network:

In the interview, Matthew — currently married and a father himself — will describe the grooming patterns and routines he endured while being raised by Jerry and Dottie Sandusky.

The Post says Matthew will respond to Dottie Sandusky’s accustions against her husband’s victims and share details on Jerry Sandusky’s nightly ritual. He is one of six children Jerry and Dottie Sandusky adopted.

Readers may recall that Matt was originally supposed to testify as a defense witness. During the trial, he told investigators that Jerry had abused him starting when he was 8-years-old. This switch came as a surprise for Jerry and his wife Dottie.

I suspected that Jerry had abused Matt. It seems unlikely that a serial abuser would target random boys that he had to work to groom, but never a boy he had immediate access to. While I am sure it does occur, I simply find it more probable that an opportunistic offender like Jerry would offend whenever the opportunity rose.

I also find it unlikely that Dottie knew nothing about the abuse. Some abusers are good at covering their tracks. Based on Jerry’s interviews and allegations made against him, it would appear he could barely get out a sentence without sounding like a pedophile. So I do not believe Dottie knew nothing. She may have turned a blind eye to it or may not have cared, but she likely knew.

Stop the Abuse: The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so. Every month I will post a new link to an organization that provides services for male victims. As the list grows, I will create a page where all the links can be found.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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SNAP

Welcome Statement:

If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have. Together, we can heal one another.

We are SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
We are the nation’s largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns, brothers, monks, and others). We are an independent and confidential organization, with no connections with the church or church officials. And we are here to help.

SNAP was founded by Chicago’s Barbara Blaine in 1989. Since then, SNAP has helped thousands of survivors. We offer support in person, (via monthly self-help group meetings in chapters across the country), over the phone, on line, and at twice-a-year national meetings.

We also provide a safe and productive outlet for the passion many survivors feel toward preventing future abuse.

Our web site exists to provide support and knowledge to all victims of clergy abuse, to help educate the public, and to help ensure that in future generations, children will be safe.

Welcome! Reach out! Get help!

Please donate and help make a difference.

Diocese claims priest was “off duty” when he molested boy

A Catholic diocese created a clever excuse for ignoring child rape: the offending priest was “off duty.” From the article:

The Catholic diocese of Trenton, New Jersey says it wasn’t responsible for a teenage boy’s molestation because the priest was ‘off duty’ at the time of the abuse.

Victim Chris Naples claims Reverend Terence McAlinden, now 73, sexually assaulted him hundreds of times over the course of a decade, starting when he was just 13 years old.

Now 42, Naples is suing the diocese in Mercer County since other church leaders knew about the abuse and did nothing.

Naples previously lost a suit against the diocese in Delaware, where some of the abuse allegedly took place. It was during that case that attorneys for the diocese used the controversial argument that they couldn’t be held responsible for Rev McAlinden’s actions, because abusing a child is not part of a priest’s ‘duties’.

This is the first time I have heard this argument. Since raping a child is not part of a priest’s duties, if a priest commits child rape he is apparently off duty. A lawyer for the diocese attempted to explain: Continue reading